* Code to improve Google search: Frank's Weight Loss Blog: June 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

June 30, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds

I couldn't really remember if it was 219 pounds or 219.5 pounds this morning so I went with the higher number. The main thing I was hoping to see was "21" at the beginning of the number so I didn't pay much attention to the last digit.

Food yesterday: banana(150)--pizza(700)--popcorn(250)--soup(300)--lt beer(100) = 1,500 calories.

I have to make this short since I will only have 30 minutes to do the post for the main blog (it's almost 6:30 Monday morning now). I have a tough two weeks ahead on the dieting with a trip to Dallas this weekend and a reunion the next. I can enjoy those events without stuffing my face at every turn, and I can balance out any potential damage by being really good on the weekdays for the next two weeks. I am eating lunch out with Boty today and there is the Wednesday night thing, but even those two occasions don't have to spell disaster.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

June 29, 2008 -- 219 Pounds

Only the third time in June that I've been below 220 pounds, and the other two times in early June came after I had been jogging the evening before. Obviously, this is a positive sign since today's weigh-in came after a day of total inactivity (not that a day of total inactivity is a good thing, but I think you get my point).

I need to get to 190 pounds. That's not the number I want as my final stopping point, but it seems to be a number I can reach by simply being more aware and accountable regarding the foods that I eat. This time when I reach 190 pounds, then I'll need to add on the exercise programs if they aren't already in place. That seems to be the one thing that was missing last time when I hit the weight loss wall last time.

So, I still have 29 pounds to go to reach 190 pounds. It is both a lot and not much. It helps that the number of pounds to lose doesn't begin with a "3" and I hope I don't fall back into that category over the next couple of days. It will also help to remember what happened to me last time when I was at this point and then I lost some weight. Back when I started losing weight the first time, I noticed that just 10 pounds lost improved my balance by a remarkable degree. On the tennis court, just 10-20 pounds lost made such a big difference that I had to retrain my mind to go after balls that were reachable then after being unreachable when I was 225-230 pounds. This improved quickness wasn't something I just imagined, it was noticed by all the others in my tennis group.

Another big plus is that at 190 pounds, I'll look better and therefore I'll feel better about myself. Let's not get hung up on political correctness here, we all know that people feel better when they look better and we all look better when we aren't carrying around an inner tube of fat around the mid-section. There are major connections in all of us between our mental side and our physical side. Right now my mental state is way up because I'm excited about my photography, and this excitement is bleeding over into helping me stick with my diet as part of a big package of self-improvement. When I get mentally tired and worn down, it is very hard for me to stick with the steps needed to take care of myself physically. And while it hasn't been the case lately, I know from many years ago in my past that when I'm in good physical shape, it help on the mental and emotional well being side of my life.

I guess I should mention that better health is a big plus of getting to 190 pounds. The problem is that these long term benefits do so little in the field of motivation. I believe I recently wrote about a study that measure brainwave activity under various situations. When there was the possibility of a short-term treat, like a bowl of ice cream, the pleasure centers of the brain went wild in anticipation. The concept of any long-term positive, like improved health or more years at the end of your life, hardly produced a reaction. The biggest gain from my losses will be in the area of health, but ironically these are the potential gains that seem to provide the least motivation.

By the way, here's my food list from yesterday: popcorn(250)--Wendy's(680)--beer(150)--popcorn(250)--popcorn(250)--banana(150)--lt beer(100) = 1,830 calories (outside of the low calorie count, my poor food choices make my food list a little embarrassing to report).

Saturday, June 28, 2008

June 28, 2008 -- 220.0 Pounds

It's amazing how a task can be either simple or difficult, depending on your attitude. With my much improved attitude about keeping the food list, I had no problem listing all of my food yesterday. One thing that helped is that I had very little food to list since I was using the "write first, then eat" method. That method gives you the opportunity to pause and realize that you aren't really hungry and you don't need to eat just yet. The "eat first, then write" method tends to become a recording of guilty pleasures.

My food from yesterday: cereal bar(160)--crackers(200)--chili(400)--cereal bar(140)--pizza(700) = 1,600 calories

I need to keep up that good effort all weekend despite the fact that I'll be spending most of that time sitting at my PC working on photos. That's a scenario that has gotten me in trouble plenty of times in the past when it comes to mindless eating. As for spending yet another weekend inside and glued to the PC, at least this time there may be some monetary reward for my efforts. I'm posting photos of the bands that were in Jackson a couple of weeks ago and then I'm letting the bands know that photos are available for sale. We'll see how it goes. For those who want to check out the band photos, go to this Smugmug photo gallery. I'll be adding albums to that location all weekend long.

Friday, June 27, 2008

June 27, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds

I've learned to never make a big deal over any particular weigh-in, but this one is somewhat interesting. I did walk 4 miles with Boty in the morning, a good deed that was offset by a trip to Wendy's for both lunch and supper and of course a few too many cereal bars throughout the day. I can't tell you how many cereal bars because somehow I "lost count", something that should be impossible if I'm operating under the plan that I can't eat any food unless I have already written it down on my food list. I would have no problem losing down to 190 pounds if I would just follow that one simple rule--and I tend to break that rule consistently because I would rather have those moments of pleasure throughout the day instead of getting this weight off.

It's odd that my post has completely switched tracks since I started typing a few minutes ago. I was going to say that maybe my set point is down to about 220 since I dropped to 220.5 even though I didn't really diet yesterday. That point is really insignificant now. What is really significant is the realization that without a doubt, the biggest difference between my days of success and these recent days of stagnation and failure is that food list. When I lost weight with ease, I really did stick to that simple rule of having to write down on my list any foods that I was going to eat--now the policy is that I try to remember what I've eaten and I'll write it down later in the day. There's a world of difference between those two methods.

My goal for now is to get back to the very easy and very difficult plan of writing down everything I eat before I actually eat it. The easy part is pulling out a notepad and taking 15 seconds to write down the item. The very difficult part is being forced to be accountable. It's all about being accountable.

Food today:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

June 26, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds

Today's weigh-in is mostly a reflection of last night's get together with the guys. I'll write more later, for now I have to get out the door to meet Boty for 4 miles of walking and maybe jogging--I haven't been doing any jogging lately and the good thing about just walking is that it becomes easier to talk and we have a little bit longer time to talk.

Later: Don't really have much to say so I'll just go with on to the food list.

Food: bagel(290)--cereal bar(160)--cereal bar(160)--Wendy's(700)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June 25, 2008 -- 220 Pounds

So far in June I've had only 2 weigh-ins lower than this morning, a 219.5 and 219 pound showing in the first 2 weeks of the month. It is clear that I had gotten to the point where the 220's had become my normal weight range. In other words, I had basically lost all of the positives from 2006 and 2007--not that there were really any positives in 2007 since it was a year of slow slippage back to the current point.

I think there is a saying about people how some people have to get rich twice. The first time they get rich they don't know how to manage that success and they blow their wealth, so they have to get rich a second time and then they learn from their first mistakes. Maybe there isn't a saying about that, but I have no reason to doubt that I can get back to 190 pounds and below and I'm hoping that this time I won't allow the slow creep back to obesity. It will help if I don't let life swamp me--it will help if I don't take the Millsaps photos this year.

If you read the main blog, then you can read between the lines and see that I know in my conscious mind that my life would be better if I don't donate all of that time and energy to Millsaps this year, but my subconscious is having trouble letting go of the project. It is a very positive thing for the kids, for Millsaps, and even for myself to a great extent. The problem is that it is just too big. The compromise would be that I cut back, a plan that sounds good on paper but one that we all know I would have trouble executing. How can I stop shooting when the next game may include the biggest play of a kids career. Or maybe the next play will be voted as the nations number 1 play of the year. I have no doubts that I will be overwhelmed if I start the project up again, and while that would take away any chance of making money with my photography, my greater fear is the damage that it would do to my life and health in general. I can't keep killing myself in small pieces.

Food today: yogurt(100)--bagel(290)--cereal bar(160)--Burger King(700)--cereal bar(160) = subtotal of 1,410 calories (not good with the Wed. night get together coming up)--from this point on it didn't get any better except that we really had a good time at Nick's and I'm glad I didn't worry too much about anything except having a good time with friends.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 24, 2008 -- 221 Pounds

Why would someone be up before 5 posting to their blog? The ideal answer would be that I'm going out jogging or walking, but the real answer is just that I couldn't sleep so I thought I'd get up and post to the blog and maybe get some photos ready for tomorrow's main post. There are times when I wake up in the middle of the night and I quickly realize that I will not get back to sleep before the alarm goes off. This morning was one of those days.

The good news is that I was thinking about expanding into something more official in regards to selling my photos. That means coming up with a name for a website, looking at different photo hosting sites that are available, etc. At the very least, I need to get more serious about recouping some of my expenses so I'll have the funds available to replace and upgrade my equipment. It would be nice if my earnings went somewhat beyond that into helping make up for the shortfall caused by my heavy contributions into my 401(k) plan.

Maybe that's a subject for another day and the other blog. At the moment, the dieting is going well in the short term. It could be a little better. First off, I should be walking more. While I want to get back into jogging and maybe even something that could be considered running, my gut feeling is that walking is the thing that will help me lose weight at the moment. Walking can be done in short segments throughout the day and it doesn't require a long cool down period. It's a habit I need to force myself into.

The other area where I can do better is in my eating. I know that I can't get away from counting calories because every time I try it turns into a disaster. On the flip side, when I count calories I will occasionally eat things just because I have room under my calorie cap. Yesterday was one of those days where I should have been a few hundred calories less, maybe with one less cereal bar and by splitting up the hot pockets into two meals. I know that sounds somewhat obsessive, but even on a sub-2,000 calorie day I find that I'm eating here and there out of habit instead of out of hunger. If I continue to keep the habit of eating for non-hunger/non-fuel reasons, then I'll just go hog wild next month when I go out of town for a couple of weekends. I need to focus on redefining food as fuel for the body and not as a quick burst of pleasure or a short reprieve from starting some assignment that I really want to put off for as long as possible.

Food today: bagel(290)--cereal bar(140)--cereal bar(140)--Wendy's(680)--yogurt(100)--cereal bar(140)--pizza(700) = 2,190 calories (the return of the cereal bar addiction)

Monday, June 23, 2008

June 23, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

I went to bed early and then woke up early. I'll get back in bed in a few minutes and nap until 5:30, then I have to get out the door early and see if the Madison Walmart is open early enough that I can stop by and do some grocery shopping. All I have for food at work is two ancient bags of oatmeal, something that wouldn't have been a problem in the old days when our company had a vending machine in the lounge. Now there is no vending machine in the new place so if you have no food stockpiled you are either out of luck or reduced to the role of begging.

This lack of a vending machine has actually been a handicap when it comes to dieting. Since we don't have food available at work, we all have to build up a food bin. That means I always have a pile of crackers, cereal bars, and the like available whenever the whim for eating hits me. It's far easier to go open a container than it is to round up 50 cents and get something out of the vending machine. It's just one more thing that makes dieting tougher when my willpower isn't rock solid.

I had a great weekend with the exception of no exercise. We get back to the problem that walking/jogging in this heat is a multiple hour endeavor. There's time spent getting dressed to job and maybe a little stretching, then more than an hour of jogging and walking afterwards to cool down, and finally comes about an hour needed to really cool down and stop sweating. At a minimum, it is 2 hours and that is a bare minimum. The solution would be to go for multiple 10-15 minute walks throughout the day. It's not something that is appealing, just something that might prove to be the key to my success. Maybe that's worth looking into.

Food today: cereal bar(140)--crackers(200)--cereal bar(140)--2 hot pockets(620)--yogurt(100)--cereal bar(140)--popcorn(250)--popcorn(250) = 1,840 calories

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

Losing a pound on the scales from yesterday to today isn't big news. Keeping my food journal for an entire day and being motivated to keep the calories down is a big change from recent weeks and months. What is always amazing when I show such dedication is that I didn't have to suffer from any hunger pains. For most of us, there is a tremendous gap between the amount of food we need each day and the amount of food we actually eat. In some areas of the world, that gap is unfortunately that people aren't getting all the food they need--in America the norm is a gap where we eat far too much.

There are "experts" in nutrition that will tell you a food journal needs to be more than just listing the foods you eat. You need to keep up with when you ate, how you were feeling at the time, were you actually hungry, how did you feel afterwards, etc. I always felt like that was too much detail, something that would make keeping a food journal too time consuming and therefore less likely to be completed. Maybe I was wrong.

It seems like obesity in America is the result of eating for pleasure and eating out of habit. It doesn't help that many of us have gone to a less physical lifestyle so we have dropped down considerably on the burning calories side of the equation, but our obesity is not a case of eating because of hunger and then not burning enough calories. Yesterday I had a banana and two apples in the morning and I wasn't hungry. Friday I had 2 sausage biscuit with jelly from Burger King and at least one cereal bar as a mid-morning snack. With foresight, I can easily get through the morning on 500 calories or less, but Friday I was up to at least 1,200 calories before I ate lunch. That was because I was eating for pleasure and out of habit, not because I was hungry.

I don't want to get to the point where I'm writing down a lot on my food journal. I actually want to stay with the method of being able to write everything down on the back of a business card. But at the very least, I need to think about why I'm eating before I put anything in my mouth. Is it food I need because of hunger, or am I just going for a quick pleasure that will only last a few minutes, or am I eating because of a habit that I need to change? If I can change my mindset so that food become simply fuel for my body, then losing weight will not be a problem. I need to work on that one big IF.

Food today: popcorn(250)--apple(150)--Whopper Jr(400)--popcorn(250)--soup(240)--popcorn(250, I really have no other snacks in the house except for popcorn) = 1,540 calories

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June 21, 2008 -- 223 Pounds

While it's nice that most of the weight has dropped off from the recent days of photography and the neighborhood reunion, the reality is that I'm still way too heavy. Since I don't have a hit counter of any type on this particular blog, I have no idea who or if anyone is reading. Therefore, it was a nice surprise to have a comment from Todd back on the June 13th post.

Unfortunately, Todd and I have continued to travel on parallel paths. We each started a blog in early 2006 where we focus on the number of calories we consumed each day. Todd was a little more diligent on keeping up with the details of the food he ate, and he was far more diligent in exercising to go along with dieting. We both had very good success. Now we both have drifted back close to our starting points of 2006 and we are finding it hard to recreate the success we had back then.

I don't know about Todd, but my problem is that I've had trouble recreating the success because I've had trouble finding the motivation to stay as dedicated as I was in 2006. Back then it was a rarity for me to go over 2,000 calories a day, even if there was some special event in the day that involved food. Now it is a rarity for me to stay under 2,000 calories. While I do think that my body has become a little more resistant to adjusting the setpoint downward, I certainly have been guilty of not doing the things that will force my body to adjust. That has to change.

Todd, I'm going to assume that you are out there keeping up with my progress periodically. At my current 223 pounds, I'm 33 pounds over the setpoint that I landed on in mid-2006. I know I can get back to that just as I know you can get down to the lower 200's. I'd like to get there by the end of September, about 100 days from now, and maybe we can motivate each other to stay on track once again. Once I get to that 190, I can think about pushing onward and dropping down just a little more, but the key for me now is to get myself back to the level of success that I once had.

Food list: banana--apple--apple--soup(300 calories)--popcorn(250)--frozen pizza(700) = 1,700 calories or less.

Friday, June 20, 2008

June 20, 2008 -- 225 Pounds

It's easy to see that my motivation for dieting is at a real low. I've been so busy lately and I just feel mentally and physically worn down. I'm using food as a pick-me-up to try and find some energy, the exact opposite of what I need to do to lose weight. If I can ever get my life under control, then maybe I can get my weight under control.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June 18, 2008 -- 227 Pounds

I woke up just before 5 and I came downstairs to the computer. I don't know at the moment what my weight will be this morning--I'll fill that in before I post--but I do know that it will be bad. I jumped on the scale quickly last night and jumped off before the scale could settle on 228 or 229 pounds. That's not surprising since it follows the eating of Jubilee Jam, the trip to and from Iuka, MS, and of course the big eating while at Pickwick Lake.

One nice thing about a road trip is that is provides time for reflection. I'm not a person who will do a lot for myself. I can be the best guy in the world for helping others, willingly doing things for others that I have consistently failed to do for myself. I seem to have a low standard of what it takes to be happy, a good trait if you don't have much and a bad trait when it comes to reaching your potential. At least that's the way I see the situation. Others may see it as low self-esteem where I don't do things for myself because I don't think I deserve those things. While there may be grains of truth in that theory, I don't think it is the bulk of my reality at this point in life. Maybe it was more true when I was younger and it has become a reflex reaction, or maybe several other theories could explain my behavior, but the end result is that I'll do for others while ignoring needs for myself.

I'd like to see that change. Even the successful weight loss from a couple of years ago was helped greatly by this trait of doing for others before myself. Yes, I did lose the weight which helped me and no one else, but I was motivated by the thought that my success would inspire others. I thought other people would find my website and I would motivate them to succeed. Then people would find their websites and there would be a ripple effect that really reached a lot of people. For that ripple effect to take place, I had to be losing weight in the center of the pool. Now that I know longer see my efforts as potentially motivating others, I find that I have very little motivation to succeed and consequently, I have very little success.

Maybe it's time that I thought a little more about doing things in my life because I deserve to have those nice things done for me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

June 13, 2008 -- 224 Pounds

I thought that Friday the 13th had started out unlucky when I got on the scales early this morning and saw 224 pounds. Then I remembered Thursday evening and the 224 wasn't because of any bad luck.

I rode with my friends Janet and Gordon to Vicksburg yesterday for the book signing of a quilting book about the life and quilts of Gordon's mother. Martha, Gordon's mother, has had real health problems lately but she made it through most of the festivities before leaving a little early because of fatigue. It was very good to see her again--I have always enjoyed the time I've spent with her. The book signing had a buffet line and we were there a long time. After the book signing there was a stop at the pizza place. I wasn't going to eat but Janet insisted that she was only going to eat 2 of the 4 pieces on her half of the pizza. I think you can see why the scale showed 224 this morning.

Posting on the blog will be hit and miss for the next week. I'm taking photos at Jubilee Jam this evening and tomorrow. That will be hectic to say the least with a schedule of 6 to midnight this evening and then 3 till midnight on Saturday--or until my back, hip, and mind totally give out. After that it is the long drive to Pickwick Lake in the distant northeast corner of Mississippi for the reunion of the old neighborhood gang. I'm afraid that Davis, the event organizer, is going to want to be go-go-go on activities up there and my body will be saying stop-stop-stop.

Between eating to keep going during the Jam and eating and drinking at the reunion, I won't be surprised if I come back at 230 for Wednesday's weigh-in. Then it's the trip to Dallas, the Strong Family reunion, and who knows what. Dieting has a lot of roadblocks, especially if you are 100% mentally committed to the endeavor--and I'm guilty of that as of late.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 12, 2008 -- 221.5 Pounds

I don't know if I'll get back to this post to add anything other than today's weight. I'm getting ready to go out the door to meet Boty for our Thursday morning walk/jog.

Things are going to be a little hectic over the next week with Jubilee Jam and then the neighborhood reunion. After that, I hope that I can get back into some sort of routine. If you are reading here, then I assume you are reading the main blog. You'll see tomorrow that I'll soon be making changes in my life that might make it a lot easier to have the time to exercise a little more and to concentrate on me instead of spending so much time on everybody else.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 11, 2008 -- 219 Pounds

It's amazing to see the results of evening jogs in 90 degree heat. No matter how much I drink after one of those outings, the results will still be several pounds lost the next day.

I can tell you that jogging last night was not the number 1 item on my "want to do" list. It might have topped the "need to do" list, a list that rarely takes priority in my life, especially when it comes to my health. The jog/walk was slow, but once again under 50 minutes. That's showing some progress. I also made it all the way through mile 3 non-stop, another one of my first goals to achieve on this comeback.

There's good news/bad news on the horizon concerning dieting today. The good news is that I won't be having beer and peanuts tonight followed by a late supper. I have to get clothes washed before I go out of town Sunday and this is really the only available night. I don't miss often on Wednesday nights, and I sure wish I had a more exciting excuse than washing clothes this evening. The bad news is that we have a party for the June Birthdays at work today. Sure, I could just sit there and enjoy the company while ignoring all of the excellent treats. I could, but I don't have a good feeling about that happening.

It's now almost 6:20 so I need to close up so I can fill the bird feeders, then pick up ice for the diet cokes and diet sprites that I will contribute to the party, and I'll still be able to get to work by 7. The tenant on the other side of the duplex is a high school teacher and he now gets to sleep late most days--I hate him! Actually, he's a nice guy and I hope he is a tenant that will finally stay over there for a year or longer, but I sure envy a job that gives such a long break from work to get recharged. I desperately need to get recharged and quitting my job is not the best option I have at the moment.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June 10, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

It's Tuesday and I needed to get a run in either yesterday or today. Last night I set my alarm for 4:15 this morning, and then I set it back to 5:45 so it looks like this evening it will be 4 miles in 90 degree heat. With so much stuff coming up, I just didn't think that I could get away with such an early morning today and Thursday. Plus, I got out of bed last night because I had something on my mind that wasn't going to let me sleep. I pushed it out of my mind and into a blog post, one that I have dated for this Friday so I don't know if anyone will actually see it. I may delete it before Friday or I may post it and never follow through with changes in my life that are almost becoming a necessity.

That sounds a little sinister and it's not. I need to find a way to get more time for me, more time to exercise, to spend time with friends, to relax. Anyone who has been reading my blog knows that my life is spinning out of control and there's one element that is behind it all. Can I walk away from that and get on with my life? I don't know. Can I enjoy my life if I don't walk away? I'm starting to wonder about that as well. Would it be so bad if I put my effort in life 100% into me for a while? Maybe not 100%, but 75%--we might be about to find out.

Monday, June 9, 2008

June 9, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds

I was getting things together for work this morning and I leaned over to put some backup tapes in a bag that was on the bed. It was nothing difficult, just leaning over while holding an item that weighs about 2 ounces, but I felt a sharp pain in my lower back. Okay, maybe just a twinge because I immediately straightened up and the pain was gone. The problem is that it happened 3 times while I was getting ready for work.

It's been years since I've had a problem with my lower back and I hate to even have a hint of trouble to come. I have Jubilee Jam coming up and that will involve long hours of standing. That will be immediately followed by a few days spent with the guys from the old neighborhood and I sure don't want to be slowed down for those activities. Then there will be the trip to Dallas in early July followed by Rusty's family reunion, and after that I think I'll be at the Saints training camp quite a bit since it looks like they are returning to Millsaps. I don't have time for any physical ailments.

I've taken 3 Advils and I'll probably keep the bottle handy all week--an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case, I need at least 40 pounds of cure, namely a reduction in weight by at least 40 pounds. I live by myself, I have a lot of things that I want to accomplish, and someday soon I had better get back to being serious about losing weight or I will find myself with physical problems that create lifestyle changes for the negative. Either I will catch up with my weight problems or they will catch up with me, and the clock is ticking on which one will occur first.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

June 7, 2008 -- 224 Pounds

I'm going out jogging right after I make this post. Since things aren't going well on the food cutback side of the equation, I wish I could bump things up in the area of exercise. Unfortunately, my body is taking time to adjust to the rigors of jogging and 3 outings a week is about all that I can do at the moment. I've been sore every morning since I started jogging again. To be honest, I was often sore in the morning prior to getting back into jogging and maybe I'll wake up sore or at least feeling stiff for the rest of my life.

The good news is that the degree of soreness has diminished somewhat. I'll start out this morning with a bit of a limp created by my right hip and maybe slight lean to relieve my bad back, but things might straighten out after a couple of miles. I have hopes that I'll do more jogging and less walking than in the past, and maybe I'll pick up the pace on the walking part. If I can do that, then finishing the 4 miles under 52 minutes is a possibility. For now, I'll take that slowpoke pace and be glad since it would be a sign of improvement. Rome wasn't built in a day and me getting back to a decent level of fitness is a task that is almost that big.

Jogging update: The nice thing about being pathetic is that it doesn't take much to have a breakthrough achievement. I made it though the 4-mile course this morning in 49:13, by and far my best effort of this latest comeback. What this mostly means is that I was walking less and jogging more. The math on this is fairly simple: I walk at a pace of 16-17 minutes/mile and I jog at a 10-11 minutes/mile pace. At the moment, I will go faster if I jog slower since jogging slower allows me to cut down on the walking.

I'm hoping this lowering of time will continue and I'm encouraged by the last two miles. Mile 3 is the easiest mile on the course and I jogged it non-stop in 10 minutes today. That's followed by a brutal mile 4 which goes up the big hill on Old Canton Road and then up Duling to the Pix theatre, and fortunately ends with a short downhill stretch to my duplex. Even with several walking stretches, I did that in 12:40, so I was under 23 minutes for the last 2 miles. I realize that in the late 70's and early 80's I ran the entire course in under 28 minutes on many occasions, so 23 minutes for 2 miles is pitiful by historical standards. Unfortunately, I will no longer threaten the 28 minute mark for this course, but I see the possibility of 36 minutes before the end of the year if I'll just keep on working.

Friday, June 6, 2008

June 6, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds

While I haven't ballooned up like a blowfish over the last couple of weeks, it is becoming evident that the running will do no good if I discontinue the food journal. Or, at the very least, the running will take much longer to be effective if I discontinue the food journal. I hope there will be a point in time when I am comfortably doing 3 runs of 6-8 miles each week and that this activity will move my setpoint down to 180 pounds, plus or minus 5 pounds. Reaching that point will go a lot quicker if I add exercise to a lower calorie diet, not substitute exercise for a lower calorie diet.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

June 5, 2008 -- 223 Pounds

This isn't an unexpected jump back up, regaining the fluids lost while jogging Tuesday evening and then adding the extra that comes from Wednesday night with the guys and a late supper.

I'm sweating as I type this morning. I wish I could report that I've found a way to turn working on a computer into an aerobic activity, but that is not the case. Boty and I went out for a 4-mile walk/jog this morning and it is hard to cool down in time for work. I'm going to work in shorts and a t-shirt and I'll carry my work clothes with me. I should cool down enough to change clothes by 7:30 or 8.

This week I'll seriously look at rejoining the YMCA. The more I think about it, I'm convinced that my problems are more about lack of activity rather than overeating. I need to work on both areas, but I don't think that just cutting back on food will do the trick and rejoining the Y will give me a better opportunity to recapture the activity of my early adult years. We'll see how that goes later this week or this weekend. And now I had better head to work or I'll be both underdressed and late.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

June 4, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds

Sweating up a storm with an evening jog sure helps the weigh-in the following morning. The mark I need to see is 215 pounds. That mark will convince me that the jogging is starting to have an effect on lowering my setpoint and therefore my weight.

I've started thinking about the possibility of rejoining the YMCA. There is a new branch that is close to my house and on the route between my duplex and work. With the weather so hot right now and for the next 4 months, it is hard to fit in an outdoor workout and then cool off. The workout outdoors isn't the bad part, it's the cooling off afterwards. Since my duplex has almost zero insulation, I don't try to keep it cool during the entire day or throughout the entire duplex. I'd be paying more for electricity than rent if I tried that. Coming back to this warm atmosphere makes it tough to cool down in a hurry, a real problem if I want to jog in the morning because I have to cool down in time to be at work by 7. It would be a lot easier to get in my exercise if I was doing it on an aerobics machine inside in the air conditioning.

As for paying for this new expense, how about me giving up the diet sodas again? That would pay for a gym membership and a whole new set of workout clothes (we do want to be fashionable, don't we).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June 3, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds

The idea of not listing my food to actually keep from eating too much food was a good idea--for about 3 days. After that my supercharged motivation waned and I slipped back into eating for just about every reason except hunger. I rarely eat because of hunger since I use all of these other triggers for food consumption before I ever get to the hunger stage.

Mother gave me a batch of photos yesterday from the wedding in mid-May. I'm fat. I'm a good person, in fact I think I'm a wonderful person, so the viewpoint of "I'm fat" is only a negative in the sense that I'm not nearly as healthy as I need to be. It's a shame that talking about being overweight takes on the connotation that you are saying something negative about a person in general instead of their health in specific. My weight is a health issues, just as my cholesterol level was a health issue, just as my poor eyesight is an issue, just as my needing to floss my teeth more is an issue. I've got to do something to get myself more fit.

A good start would be to get back to eating only out of hunger. That would be a good goal for today--you would think that an intelligent, motivated individual could do that. We'll see.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June 2, 2008 -- 223 Pounds

I got to work early today and I'm taking a minute to post before getting back to work. On the drive here, I was thinking about the differences between 2006 when I was easily having success with the diet and 2008 when I have had no success at all. I'd write about it this morning if I had more time, but I want to give this more thought and I want to give such a post more than just a few hurried sentences. Unless something comes up out of the blue, I'll probably write about this on the main blog tomorrow. For now, I'll go back to work.